Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:34
The evolution of politicians to public liars is the only real threat to America. Al-Qaeda and the other manufactured threats that keep our tax dollars flowing to the “military industrial complex” are strictly kindergarten compared to our politicians. Nowadays, they even dramatize their lies with props.
President Obama recently decorated his background with poor souls who would, according to him, be devastated by sequestration, which he knew would not cut one dime out of any federal budget. The ‘cuts’ that spawned his lies would simply require federal agencies to make do with the same budgets they had the previous year. Where were the 700,000 layoffs, long boarding lines at airports, kids kicked out of preschool, and burned-down houses in 2012?
Our founding fathers viewed the press as essential to our democratic republic. They expected reporters to keep the citizenry factually informed. Like our politicians, the press has also evolved to something less than their envisioned role in our democracy.
For example, after Obama and his supporters failed to convince the citizenry that sequestration would produce floods, famine, and a defenseless America, they changed their tact and launched the so-called “charm offensive.” The press reported that they had “changed their tune.” Instead of reporting they had stopped lying, they had “changed their tune.” Calling a spade a spade used to have merit. Has that also evolved to something less?
Both political parties are equally and obviously guilty of the most harmful public lie of all, gridlock, and it is a sworn lie to boot. Politicians raise their right hands to swear to serve America “well and good.” They do neither. Their allegiance is to themselves and their cash cows. Their 12% job approval rating confirms their allegiance.
When it comes to lying, there is no significant difference between Republicans and Democrats, especially among the long-sitting incumbents. They constantly lie about their ideological differences. Yet, their few legislative outcomes yield the same results. They get wealthier and middle class citizens get poorer and fewer.
Our lying politicians are indeed the only real threat to America. Abraham Lincoln once said: “No foreign troops would ever walk along the Mississippi or stomp the Blue Ridge. An enemy within will be our undoing.” By doggies, he was right. The “enemy within” is deeply entrenched and well fortified on Capitol Hill.
An informed, responsible electorate is the only power on Earth that can eliminate the corruption and cash-cow influence in Washing. Current voters have two choices. They can fumigate Congress and the White House or they can continue the status quo and wind up a brief footnote in history, which will simply state they were the voters who stood by and let their corrupt politicians kill America right out in broad daylight and didn’t lift a finger to help her.
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:30
It looks like Ritchie Farmer is facing another Goliath.
On the Internet yesterday, I discovered the "Manchester Forum" and noted the venom and vicious criticism aimed at Ritchie, which had apparently been triggered by the prospect of him becoming the basketball coach at Clay County High School.
I was born and raised in Clay County. My first cousin, Scott Parks, played center there for Coach Spurlock before Clay County High School was born. It was Manchester High School back in those days. He received a scholarship to Morehead State University, which was Morehead State College during his basketball career there. Consequently, I am aware of the enthusiasm for basketball that has long resided in Clay County.
Like many other people across Kentucky, I have been a Ritchie Farmer fan since I watched him help Clay County win the state championship in 1987. He would have helped UK win another championship if Coach Pitino had made the correct defensive call in the closing seconds of the Duke game, particularly since Duke went on to win the title that year.
Some folks may forget that Ritchie Farmer would not have made it to UK without the external pressure the press and others put on UK to recruit him. According to the experts, Ritchie was too short and too slow to play basketball in the Southeastern Conference. His jersey now hangs in the upper reaches of Rupp Arena certifying the extent of their flawed judgment of his basketball skills.
His career at UK reminded me of the David and Goliath story because of the similarities. In today’s rugged times, it essentially paralleled David’s feat.
Recently, he has sustained some heavy criticism for alleged wrongdoing. I have no firsthand knowledge or facts related to the allegations and therefore will not comment further, but I do wonder about his critics in the "Manchester Forum." Why so cruel?
I would wager that very few people, if any, can look back over their lives and say, "If I had it all to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing." I can only speak for myself, but I certainly would not do it all the same as I did the first time around.
Early on in life, no one passes out a how-to manual that shows us how to maneuver around the pitfalls that are scattered about life like potholes. Their great numbers practically guarantee the likelihood that some painful lessons will have to be learned along the way.
Moreover, I believe that most honest people can look back and find a time in their lives when they desperately needed a second chance and were given a second chance. At some juncture, we all need or will need our full quota of second chances.
I have over 30 years of experience working with students of middle and high school ages. Ten of those years I had the privilege of coaching football and basketball. When instruction and treatment are guided by the Golden Rule, about 99.8% of students will react to them with idealism and fair-mindedness. Accordingly, I have no doubt that any group of young men in black and gold would go the extra mile to help a wiser Ritchie Farmer slay another Goliath.
It turns out that the well-known Biblical verse (John 8:7) is the ideal closing for this letter. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:27
A few years ago during a Ponder family reunion, E.B. “Reb” Allen gave me a collection of his poems. My favorite was “Shadow Miner”. This poem became a favorite of mining brothers in the United Kingdom. They asked for and received permission from Mr. Allen to post it on a coal mining based website in the U.K.
Wigon is a town in Lancashire, England that was once a hub of coal mining with many, very deep mines in a small area. Most of them were closed early in the 19th century but the nostalgia of their coal mining history remains a matter of local pride.
“An excellent ballad, and whilst it commemorates the miners of Harlan County in the U.S.A., it has meaning for miners throughout the world.”
–Iris and John Ellis
This tribute was sent to “Reb” Allen’s daughter Shila.
Submitted by Ted Garrison
How’d the dust blight come upon me?
Them I’ll tell you if I must,
‘bout the blight of the Shadow Miner,
Who walks the midnight dust.
T’was the year ’76, and the middle of March,
At the end of the number one line,
When the Shadow brought fire, and smoke and death,
To the boys in the Oven Fork Mine.
The Smoke was so thick, you could cut it.
The heat more than any could bear.
And the sound of top falling on the roadway
To the portal for which we much steer.
It was silent on number three section,
The shadow had plotted the mood.
There was no sound of life or motion,
To break the solitude.
Except the wailing of the gob rats,
That squealed in fearful disgust,
And the flapping of the brattice cloth curtain,
Making way for the smoke and the dust.
I said to myself, “I must keep my nerve.”
Through far the portal be,
Yet my heart would be much lighter,
If I only had company.
And so I sang and shouted,
Keeping rhythm, as I sped.
To the screech from the soles of my work shoes,
As they sprang beneath my tread.
Not far into the air course,
Had I stumbled on my way,
When I saw a dusty figure,
In a capuchin of gray.
And bending upon my shoe toes,
With a long and limber stride,
I caught the dusty stranger,
And we traveled side by side.
But no token of communion,
Gave he by word of nod,
And a fear chill fell upon me,
At the crossing of the gob.
For I saw by my dim lit mine light,
As I followed, lungs a bust,
That the walking of the stranger,
Left no footprints in the dust.
Then the far chill gathered o’er me,
Like a shroud around me cast,
As I sank upon the gob pile,
Where the Shadow Miner passed.
And the other miners found me,
Just before the break of day,
With my fair skin burned and blackened,
As the dust in which I lay.
But they spoke not, as they raised me,
For they knew that in the night,
I had seen the Shadow Miner,
And had withered in his blight.
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:08
I am writing this letter in response to a letter to the editor that was in the 01-03-2013 edition. In that letter the writer implied that the second amendment only applied to muskets and that modern gun are not protected because they didn’t exist during the times the second amendment was written. If that were true then would the first amendment not apply to the freedom of speech on the t.v news, the radio, or the internet. Because during this time period there were only printing press. The language of the second amendment prohibits the federal government from infringing on the rights of the people. Just as the first amendment prohibits the federal government from infringing on the freedom of press, religion, and speech, the second amendment is a protection of rights, to keep and bear arms.
The second amendment which states “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. In order to understand what it means you have to look at what the founding father were trying to accomplish by establishing the second amendment. The “well-regulated militia” during this time was the armed citizens and not the standing army. Militias were in existence in the colonial time for over a hundred years before the Constitution was written. They were citizens that took up arms to defend the colonies against foreign invasion and Indians. The colonies were under the control of King George III of Britain in the 1770s. The British dictator became to oppressive and enacted excessive taxes, the citizens of the colonies began to resist the British dictator and started to take up arms as Militia. King George then order the citizens of the colonies to lay down their arms and ordered the colonist be disarmed.(Does that sound familiar). That then led to the Revolutionary War. It was the citizens taking up arms as militia and the formation of the Colonial Army fighting together to defeat the British that led to the creation of the United State of America. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 which we declared our independence from Britain. Then in 1787 the constitution was adopted and established to create our form of government and established the powers and structure of the federal government. Then in 1791 the framer decided they need to establish the Bill of Right which would recognize the certain unalienable god given rights of the people. Included in the Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment. The purpose of the second amendment was for the people to be armed to defend themselves and to defend the country against all enemies foreign or domestic. To ensure the balance of power remain with the people the framer of the second amendment crafted twenty seven word, one sentence. A preamble was used to state a purpose not a limitation, the Constitution has a preamble, the Bill of Rights has a preamble. Since a preamble states a purpose ( A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state ). The well- regulated militia only reinforces the importance of the individual to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment declares by implication that the Militia are the People. "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." — George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, June 16, 1788
“The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- (Thomas Jefferson) “ And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants" (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787.
The founders understood what a tyrannical government could do to the freedom of the people because they lived under the rule of a tyrannical government and dictator. They wanted to ensure the United States would remain free even if it meant citizens taking up arms to defend against tyranny.
“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" (George Washington)
Washington’s statement explains why we have the right to be armed to ensure peace, security and happiness and that firearms everywhere restrains evil. Notice how he mentions the rifle and the pistol, he like others that founded this country understood that the citizen’s militia should be equipped with weapons used by the standing army so the people could defend against a standing army whether foreign or domestic.
“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom?’. “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other, terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people" (Tench Coxe 1788)
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms." (Richard Henry Lee)
“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison,)
There is a lot of debate about guns in this country lately, this country was founded from the barrels of guns and has been defended from the barrels of guns since and will be defended with guns in the future. When we lose our right to be armed we will lose all our right and liberties altogether. Too many citizens in both Militia and the Military have given their lives to defend this country and our god given rights so we can be armed to defend against all enemies whether foreign or domestic. The second amendment does include Muskets , it also includes modern weapons that would be used to defend our unalienable rights against an enemy with modern weapons such as the semi- automatic rifles like the AR-15. The AR-15 is used for hunting , sports shooting and self-defense. An AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle and is often referred to by the misinformed as an “Assault Weapon”. As we have seen in the past gun laws don’t prevent violent crimes because criminals don’t respect or abide by the laws, and to disarm law abiding citizens would not only infringe on our rights, but also threaten our peace, security and happiness. The problem with violence today is not the guns used because they are inanimate objects, but it is the evil people using the guns to carry out their senseless crimes. Making a public statement that the second amendment only applies to Muskets is to me offensive and only shows that anti- gun people don’t have a clue what the second amendment is about. Anyone that doesn’t understand the Constitution should do some research other than just reciting the words, before making such statements that implies we don’t have a right to own pistol, shotguns, or semi- automatic rifles is disrespectful and misleading .
Thanks, J.J Stewart / George Stewart
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 13:19
Right to Bear Arms
Amendment II of the Constitution: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
When this amendment was written, the most lethal individual weapon was the musket with an attached bayonet. Most citizens of the United States needed their musket to kill game, and for protection.
When I was a young boy in Clay County, my father allowed me to have a single shot 16 gauge shotgun. There never was, nor ever has been, a thought that anyone would take away my right to have a gun.
The assault weapon is not good for hunting, but is very good for killing. Of whom are we afraid? Big Government, FBI, DEA, IRS; people who believe or look differently? What makes me nervous are some of the people that own assault weapons.
I personally doubt that the writers of the Second Amendment ever dreamed that the “right to bear arms” would include millions of its citizens to own assault weapons which have as much or more fire power than a hundred continental soldiers armed with the best at the time, a musket and bayonet.
Maurice B. Hibbard
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